In order to enhance the quality of education, the need of the hour is to have more finance, better awareness and revamping of implemented strategies.
Education is the backbone of our nation. It is an instrument to national human resource development. Listed among the fastest growing economies in the world, India stands way behind in the line, when it comes to education. Low quality education is crippling India’s growth to cope with the demands of the 21st century economy.
It is widely observed that students prefer learning mechanically than getting imbibed with the concepts. Studies have questioned the learning of students as they move to higher schools.
In the hope of reaping India's demographic dividend, our government has prioritised skill development. The UPA government established the National Skill Development Corporation in 2008, with the target of skilling 500 million youth by 2022.
Below are some of the measures required to enhance access and quality of education in India:
Initiatives required to be taken:
- Accountability to student learning and reform in governance: Success of education must be determined by inputs such as number of classrooms, books in the library or by the ratio of the teachers.
- We must hold our education system accountable to high standards of student’s development. For this, we need to monitor our inputs and regulate our outcomes.
Investment in human capital development:
- For children to receive best-quality education, it is imperative to attract the best and brightest into the teaching profession. We must have a high bar for entry into the profession, with top-quality institutes for developing their capacities. It is essential to professionalise teaching, such that multiple career tracks and avenues for growth should be made available to our teachers.
- The government school system appoints principals based primarily on senority. The process for selecting the head of institutions should be based on merit.
- The government should invest in equipping institution heads with skills that can enable administrative function and assume leadership roles.
Technology for personalised learning and quality at scale:
- Technology has the potential to create new models of learning and achieve impact at scale. The government must invest in a strong technology backbone, focusing on hardware and software development across our school and higher education institutions.
- Educators must be trained to integrate technology in their learning for effective classroom delivery. Developing high-quality Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) and personalised learning resources in local languages can go a long way in balancing the tension between equity and excellence at scale.
Integration between various stages of the education system:
- A business cannot be expected to deliver the best results if one step in the operational cycle is not properly linked to the next step. Adequate resource investment during each step of the cycle is critical for a business to achieve its goal.
- Similarly, it is not justified to expect from our citizens to realise their full potential if they don't invest in every phase of their education journey. The start must be by recognising that early childhood education lays a strong foundation and ensures that every child receives it as part of the formal schooling system. Moving on with early education, the focus should be on strengthening every child's literacy and numeracy skills.
- Secondary Education should focus on enhancing employability and college readiness through vocational education, college preparation and career counseling.
- Eventually, as an individual pursues higher education, it should be ensured that he/she receives 21st-century skills such as writing, communication, critical thinking and collaboration, which will make them an informed and a productive citizen.
There is a need for improvement in quality of information to improve quality of education in reversing the decline in enrollment.
A high-quality Education system is a pre-requisite for our country to achieve global excellence. For addressing India's Education crisis, we require resolute political leadership with a clear vision for education that is able to unite the forces of government, corporate houses and civil society organisations towards building the nation of our dream.